Part 4 - The Application of Faith
Reckoning the Separation
The sanctifying work of Christ is that which delivers a person from the kingdom of darkness, a kingdom whose subjects are bound in sin and death, to the kingdom of light, God's kingdom where righteousness reigns. This is God's calling to mankind, to come out of sin and darkness and into His light and righteousness. There are some who would take the grace of God and use it for licentiousness. Because God's grace has abounded toward a world in sin, some might say, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" (Rom. 6:1). This thought totally misses the purpose of grace and God's call to come out of darkness and into His light. Paul the Apostle's answer is, "Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Rom. 6:2).
Paul then shows four specific areas of faith in which the believer is to reckon the separation that Christ wrought. The Bible uses the term "reckon" to describe the application of faith where the believer is to consider the work of Christ, take an inventory of it, and count upon it.
An identification with Christ
A person cannot truly believe two opposing things. One cannot believe that he has been saved by Jesus Christ and also believe that sin is permissible because God's grace has abounded. The Scripture points out the inconsistency of such a belief: "How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" Salvation is the deliverance of a person from sin and darkness into God's kingdom. This is accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the identification of the believer with Christ that forms a saving faith. The substance of faith excludes a belief that sin is permissible, because biblical faith leads one to reckon that Christ has separated oneself out from the kingdom where sin reigns and into God's kingdom where righteousness reigns.
The following verses in Romans chapter six will show four areas of
reckoning. These correspond to the four areas of separation in which Jesus
has separated the believer from one kingdom unto the other.